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England eliminates Norway in Women's World Cup

OTTAWA, Ontario -- Lucy Bronze scored in the 76th minute, and England rallied to beat Norway, 2-1, last night for its first knockout-stage victory at the Women's World Cup.

Solveig Gulbrandsen put Norway ahead in the 54th minute with a glancing header off the back of her head that hit the underside of the crossbar and just went over the goal line.

Steph Houghton began the comeback for sixth-ranked England with a 61st-minute goal. The Three Lionesses, who failed to win a knockout match in three previous World Cup appearances, advanced to a quarterfinal on Friday against host Canada in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The 11th-ranked Norwegians, the 1995 champion, had yet another disappointing World Cup. Norway finished fourth in 2007, then was eliminated in the group stage four years ago.

Houghton tied the game when she outjumped two defenders and from about 6 yards headed the ball in off Ingrid Hjelmseth's far post.

Jill Scott, a 54th-minute substitute, then fed a perfect pass to Bronze, who was alone just atop the penalty area. Bronze struck a hard shot that glanced off a hand of Hjelmseth and into the net.

England, which has climbed the rankings in two years under coach Mark Sampson, earned Europe's third and final berth in next year's women's tournament at the Rio Olympics.

England entered 3-11-2 against Norway but was 3-0-1 in their previous four meetings dating to 2006. That included a 1-1 tie in January 2014 in Sampson's first game as coach. The 32-year-old took over when Hope Powell was fired after England went 0-2-1 in the European Championship.

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